HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Hill AFB’s kitchen, inside the Warrior Fitness Center here, was the setting for Nutrition Kitchen, a series of online nutritional cooking classes for military members and families.
Air Education and Training Command and the Office of the Surgeon General partnered with the 2nd Audiovisual Squadron and the 75th Air Base Wing to make the shows.
“The Nutrition Kitchen series is intended to help DoD members improve nutrition on their own terms, which will hopefully increase readiness because in order for the mission to succeed, individual people need to succeed,” said Air Force Maj. Philip Clerc, Staff Endocrinologist with the 60th Medical Group at Travis Air Force Base, California.
The unique programs are the result of asking active-duty and their family members what would help them with cooking more nutritionally.
“We did extensive research and concluded that what we currently offered wasn’t reaching them,” he said. “What everybody wanted was online nutritional cooking.”
Clerc said he thought everybody wanted in-person cooking classes, or to see a dietitian, but learned that people often didn’t want to spend the time for that.
“Nutrition Kitchen will be online and will reach them the way they want to be reached,” he said. “People won’t have to schedule an appointment to see a doctor or dietician. They just go on their phone and watch a short video and move on with their day.”
Striving to make the series as valuable as possible, Clerc and his team asked questions about what people like to eat, the amount of time they have to prepare and cook, the kind of equipment they have in the kitchen and how much they have for their weekly food budget.
All this information was taken to a large group of dietitians, primary care and behavioral health providers to offer input for the programs.
Maybe most important to the viewer is the episode themes revolve around the most common foods people said they like to eat.
Clerc said with all the nutrition information and misinformation out there, our military community can sometimes get overwhelming and it’s hard to know what to trust.
“We put together a huge, multidisciplinary group of subject-matter experts who helped build this program,” he said. “Plus, we supply evidence-based, onscreen references from PubMed articles, so there’s no question to the authenticity and accuracy of the information.”
Nutrition Kitchen began airing June 3 on the Air Force Medical Service homepage at https://www.airforcemedicine.af.mil/Nutrition-Kitchen/ and on YouTube. New episodes will be posted weekly.
“This is a super-exciting program,” Clerc said. “Because when you look for the combination of free, online, subject matter experts delivering evidence-based nutrition advice, addressing barriers that are specific to active-duty service members, there’s just nothing else out there.”